Sunday, April 5, 2009

State Accepting Applications

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Director Barry S. Maram said on April 1, 2009, that grant applications for organizations interested in obtaining financial assistance to implement a state Health Information Exchange (HIE) are now available. On February 4, Governor Quinn signed a law appropriating $3 billion to HFS to establish a planning program for health information exchange.

The measure was sponsored by State Representative Julie Hamos who has been a major proponent of health IT in Illinois. Director Maram said “A state-level HIE will lead to improved quality and efficiency in patient care, and I encourage all eligible nonprofit organizations to log onto the HFS web site at www.hfs.illinois.go/hie.”

The state’s efforts are intended to jump-start HIE in Illinois in anticipation of future funding from the Federal government. The grants will put Illinois in a strong position to leverage these funds in the months ahead.

As part of the planning process, the state was divided into 16 regional Medical Trading Areas, to address local planning and HIE implementation needs. Only one HIE Planning Grant will be awarded to each Medical Trading Area. Organizations interested in applying must work in conjunction with other local healthcare organizations to complete a proposal that will address local HIE planning needs.

Eligible applicants must be nonprofit organizations based in Illinois. Proposals are due on May 15, 2009. For addition information including the listing of Medical Trading Areas, go to the HFS web site.